SoBe hits the slopes to try and boost brand awareness

As one of the most respected events in snowboarding, the US Open, held March 20 to 23, 2008, seemed like a great place for SoBe to broadcast its name. But since the event is packed with products trying to gain coverage, SoBe was faced with the challenge of standing out. The company partnered with Burton snowboards to gain recognition and hired Fuse Marketing to boost its name.

As one of the most respected events in snowboarding, the US Open, held March 20 to 23, 2008, seemed like a great place for SoBe to broadcast its name. But since the event is packed with products trying to gain coverage, SoBe was faced with the challenge of standing out. The company partnered with Burton snowboards to gain recognition and hired Fuse Marketing to boost its name.

With only four weeks to plan, Fuse got to work, planning various tactics and events.

Strategy
SoBe wanted to increase its brand awareness by utilizing its SoBe-sponsored athletes and creating an on-site presence. The PR team knew the US Open would be a great place to tap into snowboarding magazines, fashion outlets, and the general media.

Tactics
Fuse invited media outlets, including snowboarding magazines and ESPN, to spend time with the athletes. "It works well because the athletes are excited about the brand," says Issa Sawabini, partner at Fuse.

Prior to the interviews, the PR team media trained the athletes about SoBe products. "They're doing an interview and know how to integrate the SoBe message," Sawabini adds. Fuse also worked with Burton on a wrap party where media was invited and given "skip the line" passes. During the party, reporters were able to test products and have photo shoots with the athletes.

After the event, the team went to the hotels where the media was staying and left SoBe products. Fuse also followed up with the reporters that attended.

Results
The party brought in more than 40,000 people and SoBe garnered 100 million impressions from the events.

"As far as execution and attention to detail, it was second to none," says Brian Stephenson, senior marketing manager at SoBe.

Future
Fuse and SoBe will work together on future events and build and expand off of the US Open, Sawabini says.

PR team: SoBe (Norwalk, CT) and Fuse Marketing (New York)

Campaign: US Open event

Duration: March 2008

Budget: $12,000

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